I found myself with time to experiment with some ideas I have been contemplating lately. Here is the result of one, tracing photographs with a mirror. I realize this has been done a million times before me. I understand certain people would suggest using a mirror is cheating. I am aware of other, similar ways to accomplish this type of assistance. All that aside, I simply wanted to personally experience the task to gain a clearer understanding of what is involved.
First, tracing is not as easy as it seems. I quickly learned the apparatus must be precisely and rigidly constructed. My first attempt had a misaligned reflection which varied depending on what edge of the mirror was used. Second, it’s easier to trace with one eye closed – especially if the mirror isn’t situated precisely. The video is of my second effort which is also the first complete drawing.
The first interesting thing I found to trace was a frozen pizza box in the recycling bin. After adjusting the rig I wanted to draw a portrait, but I couldn’t find a loose portrait of the appropriate size. I headed for my stickers and postcards drawer with hopes of finding something, anything, to trace. I swear I have some Salvador Dali postcards in there somewhere. I found an envelope with a bunch of Spice Girls pictures.
I wanted a portrait. The first portrait I found, Ginger followed by several group shots, then a another close-up of cruddy Ginger. Another Ginger. By the time I got to my girl Mel C I was like, “Good enough”. Tracing the photo required almost an hour. I could have eyeballed it freehand in much less time, but without the precision. I also feel the freehanded drawing would be more dynamic and interesting.